Verdict from 100+ user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • The Fresh Foam midsole unit of the New Balance Fresh Foam Crag v2 is praised for being responsive and comfortable.
  • The durability of the materials is praised by those who appreciate long-lasting shoes.
  • A few testers believe that the outsole is efficient on both the trails and flat surfaces.
  • The classic ‘90s look of the facade is appealing to those who appreciate the nostalgia.
  • Breathability is a trait that is nicely perceived, based on a couple of reviews.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A couple of testers believe that the in-shoe wrap is restrictive because of the presence of too many overlays.
  • The facade looks bulky, according to a consumer.

Bottom line

The overall reaction of people towards the New Balance Fresh Foam Crag v2 has been positive. This trail running shoe is praised for its nostalgic design, the traction-ready outsole, and the comfortable midsole. The shoe captures the best of style and function and puts them together for an off-road runner that is soft, light, and efficient.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

Good to know

  • Daily running sessions and adventures on the trails are the activities for which the New Balance Fresh Foam Crag v2 is made. The design isn’t as rugged or as intricately woven as other trail shoes. Yet, it has a deliberate construction that allows it to look like a classic New Balance offering from the ‘90s.
  • Fresh Foam remains as the cushioning system of this up-and-coming series. This full-length piece is the poster child of many of New Balance’s offerings, and it works hard to deliver on its advertised role of reactive and consistent cushioning. The outsole features rubber and a pattern that can work on both the trails and the roads.

The New Balance Fresh Foam Crag v2 is made to be true to size. Runners are welcome to accommodate their usual sizing expectations. Nevertheless, being able to enjoy a correct in-shoe experience is influenced by personal testing of the shoe and the observation of user reviews that talk about the sizing scheme.

The shoe contours the foot thanks to the semi-curved shape of the sole unit and the textile upper that follows the natural outline of the foot.

AT Tread is the material that is used for the outsole unit of this New Balance trail running shoe. The rubber compound has a generous thickness, and it covers the whole underside of the midsole foam. Protection from abrasion is its job. The ‘AT’ distinction means that it can function on both rugged surfaces and even ground. The elements that help with such a trait are the flat-ended hexagonal gripping lugs.

The perimeter of the sole unit has steadying pillars to maintain the balance of the foot at all times. Optimal foot positioning over the rough terrain can mean a lot to the performance of the runner.

The Fresh Foam technology is responsible for underfoot cushioning. It runs full-length on the Fresh Foam Crag v2, offering shock attenuation and energized takeoffs. The iconic honeycomb ridges on the sides are for extra springiness during the step. Many of the offerings from New Balance feature this iconic cushioning technology, including the Fresh Foam Cypher Run and Fresh Foam Arishi lines.

The silhouette of the New Balance Fresh Foam Crag v2 is made of a synthetic textile, the purpose of which is to wrap the foot in a secure and form-fitting hug. Breathing holes permit air to flow through the foot-chamber, thus maintaining a cool and dry experience.

Printed overlays made of faux leather are strategically stitched onto the rear, the sides, and the toe box. The placement of each layer aims to heighten durability. It also enhances the capacity of the silhouette to secure the foot in place.

The textiles and overlays mix to evoke a design decision that embarks on a blast to the past, particularly to the ‘90s, an age when New Balance shoes have a specific look. Streetwear-style combines with trail-optimized mechanisms to bring forth a unique silhouette to the update of the Fresh Foam Crag.


How New Balance Fresh Foam Crag v2 ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 11% trail running shoes
All trail running shoes
Bottom 9% New Balance running shoes
All New Balance running shoes
Bottom 12% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes


The current trend of New Balance Fresh Foam Crag v2.
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Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.